Are you considering a new CRM? Before you decide to purchase a new system, a better and more budget friendly option may be to update and improve your current system and more effectively utilize what you have.
Many relationships go sour and end. This may be due to reasons of all kinds but before couples call it quits, they generally try to identify the issues causing turmoil and work to fix them. Finding the root of these kinds of problems can help couples reignite their relationships.
The same thing can happen with the relationship between professionals and their CRM systems.
At CLIENTSFirst Consulting, we have acted as a defacto relationship counselor for hundreds of firms that are either thinking of ditching their old system for a new one or revamping their current system by adding more modules, or finding new ways to better utilize them. During our “counseling sessions” we take into consideration the following factors that can accurately tell us if the relationship professionals have with their CRM is a healthy and happy one.
CRM Loves Me, CRM Loves Me Not
Changing CRM systems may sometimes feel like an obvious or easy decision. But just as an unhappy couple think their best option is to break up and move on, some firms think they need to start fresh with a new CRM. That shiny new CRM software with different features and functions always looks great during a sales demo – especially when compared to the tired old system they may have had for years. But you owe it to the firm to at least investigate whether keeping the current system makes sense. What if you could remodel your existing CRM system and get more benefits? We have had clients in the past that, after reviewing their current system and evaluating the costs and benefits of acquiring a new system, end up deciding to try to love their current system more (or at least try to like it) more.
So, what is the best way to make the decision if you should break up with your CRM? We suggest starting with an assessment of your current CRM. Having helped literally hundreds of firms with CRM success assessments, here are some of our recommendations for best practices to start the process:
1. Meet with Key Stakeholders: First, set up meetings with key stakeholders from areas across the organization to discuss their needs and requirements. Ask them what they like about the current system, and what they think a new or remodeled system might help them do that the current one cannot. Ensure you keep detailed notes which you can then turn into a high-level report (or CRM assessment) for firm leaders.
2. Build a Foundation: The results of your CRM assessment can then be used to build out a set of plans and requirements for your new or remodeled system. This requirements document can then be used as a blueprint for demonstrations to remove the emotion and subjectivity from decisions to keep your current system or choose a new one.
3. Are your needs being met?: Many firms today are moving to the cloud and if their current system does not offer that option, they may need to leave it.
4. People and process issues: Sometimes end users may think that the existing system is unable to meet their needs and provide value, when the actual issue is that they don’t fully understand the features and functions of the system or have not been properly trained on how to use them.
5. Brand damage: At some firms simply mentioning the name of the existing CRM system is enough to send users packing. This type of brand damage is often cultural, and, as we know, changing the system is a lot easier than changing firm culture.
6. Firm technology platform: Just as couples who’ve been together since high school never gave up on each other, some firms have made decisions to invest in a single CRM vendor’s platform and or suite of products for a variety of reasons such as preferred pricing, company vision, or for simpler reasons, ease of integration.
Finally, when trying to decide whether to love or leave your CRM, it can be helpful to have an independent advocate, or consultant in your corner. The team at CLIENTSFirst Consulting has helped hundreds of top firms negotiate the remodeling, upgrading or replacement of their CRM systems. We are at your service to share information, ideas and best practices to help you make the right decisions and achieve CRM success.
For more than a decade, the team at CLIENTSFirst Consulting has been helping professional services firms and other organizations successfully select and implement CRM and e-marketing systems and improve data quality to maximize value, adoption and return on investment. If you need help achieving CRM Success, contact us at 404-249-9914 or Info@ClientsFirstConsulting.com.